Ernest Hemingway is slightly better known for his writing than his drinking, but only by a little.
The new book To Have and Have Another: A Hemingway Cocktail Companion by Philip Greene examines Hemingway’s life and work from the viewpoint of his drinks. Greene organizes the book by the cocktails, listing the recipe, and then describing how the drink was consumed in Hemingway’s novels (and in many cases, in his personal life as learned through his letters to other people).
The book makes both an interesting new way to examine the works of Hemingway, but also sheds light on what a ravenous epicurean he was. He travelled extensively, drank locally, created cocktails, and sometimes named them for his friends. Greene catalogues many of Hemingway’s drinking adventures, as well as his cocktail quirks. He would go far to ensure his Martinis were as cold as possible, loved anise-flavored beverages, and hated sugar.
Hemingway believed he was diabetic, so he shied away from drinks with sugar as a sweetener. The famous Hemingway Daiquiri was adapted from the original to have twice as much rum and no sugar. Another sugar-free cocktail mentioned by the writer is a version of the Tom Collins, in which he leaves out the sugar and replaces the soda water with coconut water. Given that coconut water is now a trendy thing to drink (both for health and for hangovers) I asked permission to share the recipe.
Depending on the brand of coconut water you use, this drink may come out a bit tart. Feel free to add a splash of simple syrup and/or a few more dashes of bitters. Then sit back with a good book and enjoy.
Tom Collins A La Hemingway
2 fl. oz. London Dry Gin
.75 fl. oz. Fresh Lime Juice
2-4 fl. oz. Coconut Water
2-3 dashes Angostura Bitters
Vigorously shake all ingredients, then strain into an ice-filled collins glass. Garnish with a lime wedge or peel.
Reprinted with permission from To Have and Have Another: A Hemingway Cocktail Companion by Philip Greene, Perigee Books copyright 2012.